KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Over the past two weeks, the Tennessee football program has been influential for 3-star quarterback Mike Penix.

The Tamp Bay (Fla.) Tech prospect committed to the Volunteers while on visiting for the annual Orange and White spring game on April 22.

After attending a Tennessee camp last June and a continuous recruitment process from Butch Jones and his staff, Penix knew this is where he wanted to be.

“The fan base is amazing,” Penix told Saturday Down South. “I like the coaches. I get along with all of them and they are all down to earth and coach real well, and the facilities are great, of course.”

A week following the Orange and White game was the NFL Draft, and six Tennessee players were taken in the first four rounds. One was quarterback Josh Dobbs. That stood out to Penix, how Jones has rebuilt the program.

“It’s good to see,” he said. “I see Coach Jones push them to their potential and I’m proud of the Tennessee players that were drafted. It was a great draft seeing all of them get picked and wish them the best of luck.”

Throughout the recruiting process, the 6-foot-1, 182-pound quarterback held other offers including Arizona and Oregon. Tennessee offered during a camp last June.

“I had a good connection with Oregon, and Arizona I did not talk too much with,” he said. “Tennessee was always there to talk to, whenever I needed to talk, they were there and I could always call them. Tennessee always treated it like home to me.”

Recruiting coordinator and running backs coach Robert Gillespie began the recruiting process. Gillespie attended Penix’s spring game last year, which opened the dialogue.

“Coach Gillespie was the one that told other UT coaches about me and wanted me to get to a camp in Tennessee, so it started off with him,” Penix said.

The first thing that stands out in watching his highlights is that he is left-handed. The second area is his vision down the field and his mobility to keep defensive backs on their heels. He can then attack defensive backs through-the-air with his arm on the run.

“My eyes are always down field, that’s my game,” Penix said. “I can run, but I always look to throw first.”

Penix also described a pair of quarterbacks he has looked up to and admires their play on the field. He admires fellow left-handed quarterback Michael Vick and former Louisville and current Minnesota Vikings’ signal caller Teddy Bridgewater.

Since Penix’s initial recruitment by Tennessee, there have been five changes to the coaching staff, but that has not caused any issues. Penix “likes what he’s (Jones) doing” to the coaching staff and describes new offensive coordinator Larry Scott as “real cool and always keeps a smile on your face.”

With the calendar switching to May, the decision to be an early enrollee next January is still undecided. Penix says that he is “not sure yet and still going over it.”